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"I was in Dancing with the Stars and I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss" - Mark Cuban recalls how close Dallas Mavericks were to pairing Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki

Mark Cuban recalls how close Dallas Mavericks were to pairing Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki
Mark Cuban recalls how close Dallas Mavericks were to pairing Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki
Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki nearly became teammates in 2007. [Photo: Bleacher Report]
Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki nearly became teammates in 2007. [Photo: Bleacher Report]

The Dallas Mavericks nearly pulled off of a titanic heist in 2007 when they almost acquired the disgruntled Kobe Bryant from the LA Lakers. LA’s franchise player was so disappointed and frustrated in his team’s roster construction that he demanded a trade.

In an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Mark Cuban, the Mavs’ team owner, revealed how painfully close they were to getting “KB24.”

“I thought it was done. I was in Dancing with the Stars and I was going back and forth with Dr. Buss and I think he called me actually and said, ‘Look, we think we might be parting ways with Kobe.’"
“I thought [the Kobe trade] was done.” 👀Mark Cuban gives the back story of how the Mavs were close to trading for the Mamba in the B/R app 🤯📳 br.app.link/GFbybecrTpb https://t.co/Bmx4VCBqGa

The LA Lakers, with Kobe Bryant as a franchise player, struggled badly without Shaquille O’Neal, who was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004. While Shaq promptly won another title with the Heat, Bryant’s Lakers looked hopeless. They didn’t make the playoffs after O’Neal was traded and then lost in the first round the next two years.

Tired of all the losing, the “Black Mamba” demanded a trade. The Chicago Bulls, the LA Clippers and the Detroit Pistons were rumored to be the favorites to acquire Bryant. Apparently, Mark Cuban nearly pulled it off for the Dallas Mavericks.

“I guess Mitch Kupchak talked Kobe into staying…When a guy that’s key to your team wants to leave, you’re gonna do everything to keep him.”
“I would have traded Jet [Jason Terry], Josh Howard and a couple of first-round picks.”

Also Checkout:- Kobe Bryant Parents


Mark Cuban could only imagine what a Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki partnership could have accomplished in the NBA

Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban was convinced his team would have been very good with Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki. [Photo: Lakers Daily]
Dallas Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban was convinced his team would have been very good with Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki. [Photo: Lakers Daily]

The Dallas Mavericks were fresh off an NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat in 2006. Dallas posted another great campaign the season after, finishing with a 67-15 win-loss slate and the best record in the West.

Mark Cuban had no doubt that had the “Black Mamba” been relocated to Texas, he would have been spectacular with Dirk Nowitzki.

“It would have been damned good! Dirk was like, ‘I would have traded me for Kobe!’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m not gonna trade you, Dirk. That’s the whole point.’ We would have been something else…I thought it was done, done, done! Like, let’s start putting together the trade call.”

Also Checkout:- Dirk Nowitzki Wife

Mark Cuban thought Kobe Bryant coming to the Dallas Mavericks in 2007 was a done deal.(via Taylor Rooks) https://t.co/k6jooEFuxq

Kobe Bryant remained in LA and later teamed up with Pau Gasol to lead the LA Lakers to three straight NBA Finals appearances. Nowitzki’s Mavericks, meanwhile, were regular first-round casualties until they won the ultimate prize in 2011.

Bryant and Nowitzki will meet for the last time in the playoffs in 2011 with the Mavericks sweeping the Lakers in the semi-finals.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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